Or: A business trip turned into a breathtaking art trip to Romanian Transylvania.
I have a friendship that has lasted for decades with my dear friend, Alexander Varvaressos. He came to me after the end of 2019 and told me about an idea to open an art gallery.
Said and done!
In keeping with his motto, he implemented his idea at “express train speed” and commissioned me to provide the exhibitions in his gallery ART 9TEEN on Billrothstrasse with an artistically senseless, but economically highly necessary insurance.
In the gallery I also got to know Alexander’s partner, the art collector Thomas Emmerling, who is always calm, level-headed and rich in stories. So it happened that Thomas Emmerling contacted me about an exhibition insurance in Romania. After the work was done, the surprising invitation came to Michelsberg in Romania to the exhibition “Spatiu intre – In between” by Gabriela von Habsburg. Actually, I didn’t think about it for long and happily confirmed after the unspeakably long dry spell for traveling, art and all sorts of other restrictions of the last few months!
Romania was also a blank spot on my personal map. Others say Transylvania is a dark place because of its Dracula stories. On the other hand, I only knew Romania from frequent trips to Bulgaria. The traffic volume forced me to drive at night. – Yes, I only knew Romania at night and its streets only in the beam of the headlights!
Travelling by car to Romania began on June 17th, 2021 at 7.30 a.m. on Rennweg – where, according to Metternich, the Balkans begin! The trip was roughly predictable along the Danube – 2.5 hours to Budapest and 2 hours to Szeged, including all stops. At Szeged you turn in the direction of the Banat, the eastern part of the Hungarian lowlands. In its heart lies the Romanian city of Timisoara and in the southwest the Serbian city of Beograd. Climbing the super-green Carpathians at the eastern end of the Banat, Transylvania begins in history-steeped Transylvania. The cities here are named Klausenburg (Cluj), Kronstadt (Brasov), Karlsburg (Alba Julia) and Hermannstadt (Sibiu). We reached our destination Michelsberg near Sibiu after a drive of approx. 8.5 hours, which, up to 15 km in the Carpathian Mountains, only knows motorways.
Ahhh, finally Michelsberg. A sleepy place, on whose steep mountain slopes there are not only lots of green but also many old farms. Right in the middle, below the Protestant church, is the Kunsthaus 7B, the location of the exhibition “Spatiu intre – In between”.
Alexander and I moved into our room in the hotel “Apfelhaus” am Berg with a direct view of the fortified church Michelsberg, which dates back to the 12th century. In the evening we were invited to house Nr. 10, which belongs to the very active Protestant community of Heltau, for an excellent 5-course dinner with wine accompaniment, on a small scale. House Nr. 10 was built with great dedication and dedication by the wife of Professor Dr. Stefan Tobler renovated down to the last detail – a jewelry box.
Dinner was the first time I met the gorgeous artist Gabriela von Habsburg.
That was day 1!